Will Dawson make Hopkins look like an old man on October 15th?
By Dan Ambrose: WBC light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KO’s) is only six months away from his 47th birthday and is facing his best opponent in many many years in his next fight against former two-time light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson (30-1, 17 KO’s) at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles, California.
Hopkins has had a run of luck since suffering back to back losses to Jermain Taylor in 2005. Hopkins has changed the level of opposition, opting for mostly slower guys like Antonio Tarver, Winky Wright, Kelly Pavlik, Enrique Ornelas or limited fighters like Jean Pascal and the aging Roy Jones Jr. The one fighter that Hopkins fought with real hand speed and an ability to fight hard for more than four rounds, Joe Calzaghe, beat Hopkins by a 12 round decision in 2008.
Since then, it’s been guys that have been tailor made for Hopkins’ style. Dawson would have to be considered in the same category as Calzaghe and Taylor, which is bad news for Hopkins. Dawson is well aware how Hopkins needs to fight in order to win and he’s not going to oblige him by fighting wildly and out of control so that the aging Hopkins has opportunities to land his counter shots to try and win rounds where he’s being out-landed. Hopkins is the type of fighter that can win rounds even where he’s being out-punched.
However, as Calzaghe and Taylor showed, Hopkins struggles if you stay under control and box him using your jab and combinations. Hopkins doesn’t have the speed to counter a quick fighter like Dawson and this could be a fairly easy fight for Chad. Hopkins is old and there to be taken by a skilled fighter like Dawson.